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Weddings cost how much?

This post was written by Alan Moore, Financial Planning Analyst with the Kahler Financial Group

Did you know that the average cost of a wedding is $25,000? For those that are financially established, this may not seem like a very daunting price tag, but for a young couple, this amount could hurt their new relationship.

Based on personal experience, most young couples don’t have $25,000 in the bank for pay for their wedding, and some may end up borrowing the money.

I knew one young woman who figured since it was the most important day of their lives that they could spend whatever they wanted and pay for it over time.  She surmised that regardless of the cost, it would all be worth whatever they had to borrow.

After the big day had come and gone, she wasn’t able to find secure employment.  She began waiting tables, which is where I met her;  that was how I put myself through college.  She was 33 and it was the only job she could find. The $33,000 they had borrowed was still unpaid and accruing at double digit interest rates on her credit cards.  The chances are it may not be paid off for many years to come. This is not how I would recommend newlyweds get started on their new life together!

My wife and I were married last year.  Someone gave my wife a very good piece of advice, “pick the one thing you have to have, and get it. Let everything else go.” This meant we spent a little extra on the Chapel of her dreams, and saved money by getting help from our network of friends and family. Our “wedding day organizer” was a friend of her mother. My mother catered the reception, and the DJ was a local college kid that didn’t wear a tux, but played all of the music we requested. All in all, we spent less than 40% of what the average wedding costs, and it was a perfect day.

Society has ingrained into us the money script that weddings must be perfect, and in order to achieve that perfection, you must spend tons of money. Suzanne Cole pulled together a great list of tips on what to do with any savings from their wedding budget a young couple can manage. This would be a great resource for any young couples planning their wedding and new life together.

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3 Responses to Weddings cost how much?

  1. Laura May 13, 2011 at 6:24 am #

    Imagine what a young couple could do if they actually started with 25K instead of going in to debt for that?

  2. Bobbie Munroe May 13, 2011 at 9:23 am #

    Weddings have become a racket like so many other “businesses.” One thing, it seems like in many communities the couples receive substantial gifts of cash, perhaps $200-250 each from their family’s friends. One of my clients who recently married for the first time spent about $20K but got most of it back (which, yes, could have gone in the bank). I told them to be glad they weren’t married in the South as here, all you get is a plate or fork.:-)

  3. Dr Mary Gresham May 13, 2011 at 1:03 pm #

    I do everything I can do to persuade the couples who see me for premarital counseling to create a special “emotional” event with love, support and intimacy so that they begin their lives together in a meaningful community experience. Not only is the “dream” wedding often a nightmare of stress and excessive planning but the bachelor and bachelorette parties are expensive weekends in Vegas, etc.so the bridesmaids and groomsmen also go into debt. Both my stepdaughters had beautiful, sensible, touching weddings in the last 9 months and found creative ways to do things on a budget.Often those were the favorite parts of the wedding, like creating centerpieces with beach sand,shells and glass vases or having the bridesmaids carry Asian paper parasols instead of flowers.